Newspoll: 50-50; Westpoll 51-49 to Labor

The last polls of the WA election campaign are in: 50-50 in Newspoll, 51-49 to Labor in Westpoll. The respective samples are 1802 and 402. Westpoll also has marginal seat polls of around 400 voters, showing the Liberals leading 54-46 in Scarborough, 56-44 Kingsley, 59-41 in Kalamunda and 52-48 in Collie-Preston, while Labor leads 50.5-49.5 in Riverton. None of these seats are must-wins for Labor.

The two-party figures conceal a collapse in the Labor primary vote, put at 35 per cent by Newspoll and 37 per cent by Westpoll (compared with 41.9 per cent in 2005). However, much of the lost vote is leaking to the Greens (12 per cent in Newspoll and 11 per cent in Westpoll, compared with 7.6 per cent in 2005) and coming back as preferences. Newspoll records by far the worst ever personal ratings for Alan Carpenter, with 42 per cent satisfied (down seven points) and 48 per cent dissatisfied (up eight points). Barnett is on 40 per cent and 43 per cent; Carpenter still leads as better premier 48 per cent to 35 per cent. Westpoll has the latter measure at 47 per cent for Carpenter and 27 per cent for Barnett, suggesting its smaller sample might be skewed to Labor.

Interestingly, Tony Barrass of The Australian talks of “Newspoll’s additional analysis in the 10 most marginal Labor seats” which “reveals an average two-party Labor vote of 48 per cent”. That amounts to a swing of 4 per cent, which would cost Labor nine seats and government if applied evenly across the 10 (unless John Bowler wins Kalgoorlie, as some are suggesting). However, Robert Taylor of The West writes that Labor are holding up relatively well in the southern suburbs, suggesting they should retain Jandakot and maybe even Riverton.

This raises the question of which seats are dragging up the average. Expectations are that John Castrilli will perform very strongly in his bid for re-election in Bunbury. It has been observed that Labor are struggling in the northern suburbs, which Westpoll backs up with a 6 per cent swing in Kingsley. This might have significance for Ocean Reef and Joondalup, notwithstanding that Labor has heavily targeted those seats while abandoning Kingsley. A Labor win in Jandakot could thus be cancelled out by a Liberal win in a northern suburbs seat further up the pendulum. That might mean Joondalup or perhaps Wanneroo, where new developments have been breaking out like acne over the past four years. Most of these have been concentrated around the new suburb of Tapping, whose booths split about 57-43 in favour of the Liberals at the federal election. Alan Carpenter could be found there yesterday campaigning at the local primary school.

Boy, this is going to be fun.

In the upper house, strong Greens polling suggests they should win four seats, although they have been disappointed before on election night. That should reduce Labor to 13 seats out of what is likely to be a combined “left” minority result of 17 seats out of 36. My tip for the 19 seats of the “right” is 14 Liberals, three Nationals (also performing strongly in Newspoll, confirming anecdotal evidence) and two Family First.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

288 comments on “Newspoll: 50-50; Westpoll 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. Diana im not and NCB springs to mind too, but 5 Ministers did resign and Carps did relax the bans Geoff put in place, thus WA was handed the most corrupt Government since Brian Burke ran the joint.

    The people wont stand for corruption especially in government and will not reward them for it that’s why the Libs have a sniff of a win. Diana, if that’s the case and given Labor only won Hasluck whereas the Libs won Swan and Cowan. The Libs also held its marginals. Yes Labor improved but the State still went solidly to the Coalition as it usually does.

  2. Glen @ 189
    At least they have the courage to sack their corrupt politicians. Unlike a former foreign and trade minister who kept their jobs. I also never understood how people can critisise Carpetner for calling an early election. If he was purley making a political calculation he would have done it earlier before the liberals had the chance to dump Buswell.

  3. No 184

    There is no such thing as a minimalist change Charles. What the republicans want is wholesale change of the constitution; essentially a vote of no confidence in one of the most stable democracies in the Western World.

  4. 198
    Scotty, until you come up with proof they were corrupt that’s slander.

    GP, if i had to swallow a Republic (which i wouldn’t like), id basically want the GG renamed as President, that would be all id be wanting. If the Hard Line Republicans got their way, we’d be having 50 referendums on the Constitution!

  5. Ryano previous post reminds me of the 99 Vic election when in the 400 metres from home to booth I changed my mind several times finished up voting for my then Independant MP then watched my Bombers lose! the joy of living in Frankston East!

  6. Glen
    The idea that the Australian Wheat board could have done what it did without the knowledge and consent of the federal government is laughable. If not corrupt they were incompient. Technically this is my opinion and thus not slander.

  7. How will the Nats vote if it comes to a confidence vote? They have said they will not form a coalition, will they support the party with the most seats?

    What other hung parliament scenarios are there?

  8. Scotty claiming people are corrupt without any evidence is slander even if it is your opinion.

    The CCC evidence on those 5 Ministers is beyond doubt, i even think the people who do vote Labor today will be unhappy about doing so given how corrupt the Government had become after Geoff.

  9. Glen is right! calling someone corrupt is slander! in many ways its a cheap shot but they seems to be the ways of politics in this country for we tend to find it easier to name call than debate!

  10. 204
    ruawake – unless they are mad (which they probably are), the Nats would form a quasi minority administration propping up a Barnett Government, but this would require giving them a large share of mining royalties. Still i cant see them propping a Carpenter Minority government, (even though in SA the Nats have made a deal with the ‘devil’).

    The Nats would not form a coalition with the Liberals, according to them they want the balance of power and will milk it as much as they can. So in return for mining royalties, the best Colin could get out of them in a promise to back them in votes of no confidence.

    Still the Independents could come into play too.

  11. Here are the swings to Labor last Federal election. Substantial in some seats.
    Brand 1.0% to ALP ALP RETAIN
    Canning 4.0% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Cowan 2.5% to LIB LIB GAIN
    Curtin 1.0% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Forrest 4.6% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Fremantle 1.4% to ALP ALP RETAIN
    Hasluck 3.1% to ALP ALP GAIN
    Kalgoorlie 3.7% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Moore 2 1.7% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    O’Connor 3.8% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Pearce 3.9% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Perth 2.1% to ALP ALP RETAIN
    Stirling 0.8% to ALP LIB RETAIN
    Swan ALP 0.2% to LIB LIB GAIN
    Tangney 3.1% to ALP LIB RETAIN

  12. One of the things that has hurt the Liberals in recent times has been the lost of seats to Independants (Churchlands & Alfred Cove)

  13. hmmm, my beloved crows have lost, it looks like Briggs will win Mayo and we cant get live cover for W.A. i think i’ll sit in a corner and sulk!

  14. “but 5 Ministers did resign”

    And six during Howards first months as PM as he tried to match labors standards of accountability then thew away any standards as he realised he was losing too many ministers.

    “Amanda Vanstone is the latest minister the PM has let shirk accountability.
    These are the best of times to be a federal minister or a departmental head.”

    However, if you are one of John Howard’s ministers, different rules apply. In a situation that recalls the Seinfeld episode in which the appalling George Constanza tries everything to get himself fired from the New York Yankees organisation, including dragging the World Series trophy around behind his car in the office parking lot while yelling abuse through a bullhorn, if you’re a federal minister, it’s hard to get sacked.

  15. Albert while i dont agree with Palin’s social policy, i do agree that she has more experience to be President than Obama.

    Writing two memoirs does not qualify you to be President, you need A-Executive Experience or B-Have actually done something in the Senate (ie drafted policy). Something McCain and Palin have.

    The elephant in the room is that as much as people trash Palin her CV would put her well above Obama’s in who should be President.

  16. Without changing the topic! Obama’s lack of experiance is a bigger issue than the level of experiance Palin has for he is running for the President while she is running for the Vice-President.

  17. Ummm Gary…aren’t you forgetting the 2PP for 2007???

    Liberal Party of Australia 53.26 –2.14 11 +1
    Australian Labor Party 46.74 +2.14

    Played out in the WA election the Liberal Party would achieve a 6% swing and Carps would be thrown out!

  18. My prediction is:
    Labor 30
    Liberal 24
    Nats 3
    Ind 2.

    Giving Labor a majority of one.

    Would one of the independants be a candidate for speaker?

  19. Any exit polls? C’mon Glen give the world a chance, when the democrats get in the entire planet breaths a sighe of relief. My only concern is someone will assasinate Obama.
    No more about Palin or I will post my joke and william might boot me off.

  20. The correlation is why should these people be changing their votes to a corrupt Labor Government they’re more likely to stick with who they supported a year ago, the Liberals. It is not a certainty but it could be what gets Barnett over the line.

    Wont Moore be won by the Nats?

  21. 217 Glen – Fair comment Glen. Then really we are looking at the second election this year taking place in what is essentially a conservative electorate, the NT being the first.

  22. That’s true, but didn’t the NT Chief Minister call an early election too?
    But the Libs are about as far behind 9 seats as the CLP was so even with such a protest vote NT Labor held power, still the trouble is coming off a low base.

    Most people hate going to the ballot box early than necessary, im surprised at the NT result i must say, but the swings will not be that high in WA i reckon. They wont need to be for a Liberal Government to be formed.

    If anything will get the ALP over the line, it’s 1v1v.

    I wonder how the Brisbane Lord Mayor is feeling right now?

  23. Glen.
    I accept that both parties have had people in them who have been corrupt. You seem to immaturley pretend only labor politicians have been corrupt. You seem to overlook the adverse findings about liberals such as John McGrath and Anthony Fels.,21598,23849358-5017005,00.html

    You are making this about me. Tell me how AWB was able to break United Nations sanctions being enforced by the federal governments then. How could they have known Alia was part owned by the iraqi government? If the government was doing its job this should not have happened.

  24. #222 – I recall lots of people taking HTVs from the independent in our seat at the 2006 Victorian election too. They obviously took no notice of them as I would estimate that 20%, at most, of the voters for that independent actually followed the ticket in their preference order.

  25. Milko, pull your head in, that inference is slanderous and a bit sick no matter who you vote for, having a go at a pollie on what they’ve done themselves or what their party has done is fair game, but slurs like that are below the belt–along with stuff about their families..

  26. Glen says: “The correlation is why should these people be changing their votes to a corrupt Labor Government they’re more likely to stick with who they supported a year ago, the Liberals.”

    So, who in the WA Labor Party has been convicted, or even charged, with corruption?

    And didn’t the election a year ago vote on the federal government, not the state government? Haven’t you noticed that in the last decade the pattern of federal voting doesn’t match state voting?

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of a conservative narrative.

  27. Glen.

    Who held the balance of power and allowed Ms Carnell to form Govt. ?

    Hint he is on the ABC and his last name begins with Uhlmann. 😛

  28. wbj asks: “who in the WA Labor has been convicted, or even charged, with corruption?”

    The question should be reformulated to:

    Whom should be charged with corruption?

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